This is a short blog with a simple principled position. I am not getting into the pennies and dimes of the accounting for healthcare. I am not getting into the specifics of what is covered how. What I am looking for in a healthcare bill, in any Medicare and Social Security change, is participation by the elected official. Let me be clear:
I support elected officials, and those whom they appoint, having to live by the same standards which they guarantee all other Americans. I support elected officials, and those whom they appoint, being limited to the same health care and retirement which they guarantee all other Americans. Too many officials live lives of wealth and privilege obtained by manipulating and passing legislation to enhance their own power, wealth, and separation from those whom they claim to represent. Too many officials use their office to represent the Fiat of Monied Interests instead of their actual constituents and the public good. If these elected officials, and those whom they appoint over us, are not limited to the same benefits in healthcare and retirement which they guarantee their fellow Americans, then they lead us to lives which they themselves are not willing to live.
Thank you for your time,
One of the problems with the abortion issue is that many people suffer the consequences of it in a cultural climate that is uncertain about what constitutes a person, ill defines the rights of privacy, and are buffeted by positions which are emotional and half-reasoned arguments. Caught within this are those who have been involved not merely with the question of abortion, but with the reality of abortion. No movement forward, socially or politically, is possible without dealing with these ramifications.
Very few who have had abortions, or been involved with the decision of abortion, walk away from the event without becoming emotionally charged on the issue. For many, an abortion – theirs or someone else’s, is grief-striking. For those who are dealing with the consequences in this way they should, in my opinion, allow themselves to grieve. All change is stressful, and the more traumatic the change the greater the degree of stress and need to grieve properly. If any person or family is dealing with this I would recommend they seek professional help, and read publications from the Grief Recovery Institute. The Grief Recovery Handbook and When Children Grieve are both excellent books dealing with grief regardless of what kind of stress they need to resolve.
It is unlikely that those with strong feelings or beliefs about abortion will ever fully divorce their feelings from rational decision making in a secular representative republic. However, it is imperative that facts establish a standard of laws and national policies. Accepting the positions which I posited in my article Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice, that 1) Life is transmitted from parent to child and not created at that moment, and 2) the moment of conception is the beginning of a unique human identity or person, then certain conclusions can be drawn. The first is that national citizenship is inherited at the moment of conception from the parents. The second is that the death of the conceived becomes the death of a citizen of the nation wherein the parents have their citizenship. The third is that the fetus has rights and obligations as a citizen – especially since ignorance of the law is no excuse before the law. The conceived person, a citizen, has a right to life. They have a right to parental guardianship and support. They have a right to representation by someone who has their best interest in mind. Equally a conceived person has an obligation to develop without harming, debilitating, or killing others.
What constitutes “best interest” is something requiring social dialog and legislative action. The authority to terminate the life of a fetus for medical reasons should parallel the authority to pull the plug on a terminally ill patient. Is the person going to die without heroic efforts to save them? Is the person going to suffer an intolerable life? By this I mean will they suffer constant agony before dying in a few months, weeks, or days anyway? These are determinations for which the rules concerning terminally ill patients and those who can no longer make decisions for themselves already provide guidelines to this discussion. Who represents those who cannot represent themselves is something for which we also already have guidelines. Which is not to say such laws could not be better defined based on various types of circumstances. However, they are unlikely to be defined before a legal crisis comes to the attention of the judiciary and legislators.
The conceived person, as do other children, has a right to the material, financial, intellectual, and emotional support of their parents and those appointed to be custodians or guardians. However, they do not have the right to harm or kill others. A conceived person whose development is a threat to the health or life of the mother violates the law. Their ignorance of the law is unimportant. Taking a life to save a life is a fundamental principle of western human philosophy and justice. This includes abortions in order to protect a minor whose health or life is endangered by pregnancy. However, we also hold heroic those who choose to sacrifice themselves for another. If an adult woman makes it clear she wishes to risk her life for the life of her child that should be her decision and her right. The current standard that an abortion to save the life of the mother is justified is fully defensible.
The argument in the case of rape is not one for which I have any clear analysis. On the one side, the conceived individual has perpetrated no criminal action themselves. On the other, they are a resulting benefit acquired through the commission of a crime. It could be argued that allowing someone, man or woman, to procreate without the willing consent of the other (by force, coercion, rendering their victim incapable of responding, etc.) is allowing them to benefit from their criminal action. Certainly at a minimum their parental rights and standing should be forfeit, if not their life. To that end, the commission of an unjustifiable abortion may clearly be defined as the premeditated murder of a human being.
In the above areas, it is legitimate for government to act in defense of the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of their citizens. It is fully justifiable for government legislation to define or redefine what is a person, what is a citizen, and what limitations exist for one citizen to take the life of another. Those persons, secular or religious, who hold a pro-life position should endeavor to get government to recognize conception as the beginning of the individual, human being, person and citizen. This will be most effectively done through an Amendment to the Constitution defining both personhood and citizenship.
The principle cause of abortion is conception. Better more efficient forms of contraception should continue to be developed. Surgical methods are not desirable for those who might someday wish to have children. They also need to be carefully regulated as they have been abused in acts of genocide. Side effects of various methods currently available may make them undesirable or even unhealthy. Some products marketed as contraceptives are abortifacients instead, and a change in the law would restrict or prohibit their use.
Reasons for elective abortion can be dealt with through various alternative methods. Adoption has long been an acceptable alternative. Financial costs are offset by assistance through both private and public programs. That does not stop those abortions which occur because of financial instability in the economy. Such uncertainty will never be completely eliminated, but in my opinion could be reduced through better education on reasonable financial management and adoption of a better economic policy than Reaganomics. Conservatives who wish to protect life might need to rethink their reliance on the ideal of natural selection. Just perhaps, telling potential parents that their failure to prostitute themselves to the whims and command of others should result in the starvation of their children is not the best way to reduce those uncertainties which lead to abortion.
Addressing the social pressures to have an abortion is much more tricky. From a religious point of view, all persons fail that level of perfection which they hold to as an ideal. Yet, in that imperfection they will criticize and even shame others for being imperfect. Abortions which occur because of such social shaming are ironically paradoxical. An abortion to hide an affair is compounding betrayal of one person with the murder of another. Whatever the answer is for dealing with the aftermath of the event (divorce, mediation, therapy, etc.) the old saying two wrongs don’t make a right comes to mind. Further, if elective abortion is off the board, then coercion or pressure from a father who doesn’t want to live up to their responsibilities ceases to be an option. So long as the law and society makes personal responsibility irrelevant and unimportant for either parent then no one will have a reason to be responsible in their reproductive behavior.
On a personal level, what can people do to change the social definition. One thing I have thought of is to change the social behaviors which reinforce antiquated understandings of what is human life and citizenship. For instance, birthdays could be a celebration of the mother: A day of gratitude and respect by the child to their mother for the pains of bringing them into the world. Instead of birthdays celebrating the arrival of the person, there would be Conception Days where we celebrate the day the individual became a human being and citizen. This latter has the added benefit of increasing the reverence for the reproductive act.
(Because of the amount of space that went into this article,
I will offer suggestions for dealing with the issue in a follow-up.)
Abortion is as divisive in the United States today as was slavery in its time period. That division has been vehement and at times even violent. Further, it is conveniently described as a battle between the Religious Right and the Liberal Left. In almost all cases those who are religious are dismissed as antiquated and superstitious persons whose position cannot be valid if scrutinized under modern rational standards. Nothing could be further from the truth. Further, any decision which supports abortion is a more egregious violation of American rights than slavery. I state this because we hold a precedent that the pursuit of happiness is not possible without liberty and that liberty is not possible when one is denied life. If slavery was the great transgression of our Founding Fathers because it denied liberty, and thereby the pursuit of happiness, to less than 3,000,000 people, then abortion which has denied the pursuit of happiness, liberty, and life to more than 50,000,000 people is quantifiably a more egregious transgression of American rights.
Like slave holders, some who have had an abortion deeply regret their decision. Also, like slave holders, some who have had an abortion will maintain any position, no matter how irrational and obviously self-serving, in order to justify themselves as good people and morally conscionable. Also, like slavery, those who benefit from the practice, whether financially, politically, or in status, will oppose recognition of the grave nature of abortion. Whether for psychological reasons, personal gain, or both — rational approaches with these persons will be difficult and emotional appeal is either wasted, in the later case, or will only increase the trauma causing the entrenchment, in the former case. Because religious positions are invalid outside of those who believe in that religion, only rational factual evidence in a secular discussion is available as a tool for persuasion. And if, as religions suppose, religious values are based upon universal truths embedded in the nature of the divine design, then a secular argument based in facts concerning the universe and nature will support the same conclusions.
One of the questions in the abortion debate is when does life begin. All the discussion I have heard my entire life falls short of any scientific standard or description. Every description I have ever heard relies either upon a religious definition of when the individual receives their soul, or when someone who is not religiously observant decides they want to grant there is a life. Neither religious definitions nor wishful thinking establish facts in this debate. The premise of both is that life begins inside the experience of the observer. That premise has no foundation in scientific fact. Science determined decades ago when life began. Life began between 3,770,000,000 and 4,280,000,000 years ago. Scientifically, everything which is alive today on earth is an extension and evolution of that first life.
Reproduction does not begin life, it transmits life. All living organisms today received their life force through the previous generation. Whether that is the will of and sustained by a divine being is the province of religion, not a determination for any government nor current science. According to science two living cells, a sperm cell and an ovum, combine to form a unique deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequence usable by science to identify that specific person from all other 7,500,000,000 plus persons in the world. That individual identification is so extraordinary that it may exonerate the person from a death sentence or establish their guilt and sentence them to die.
The scientific position that DNA identifies a unique individual was not a standard at the time Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) was decided in 1973. Timothy Wilson Spencer, the Southside Strangler, would be the first to be convicted and executed on the basis of DNA evidence by April, 1994. The legal precedents of the identity of the individual person being determined by DNA did not exist, when the Supreme Court used precedence to decide Roe v. Wade. Nods were made toward the scientific observations concerning the development of the fetal stage person inside the womb. Justice Harry Blackmun wrote the conclusion of the court based upon the legal precedence of case-law. The cases used as precedent covered two principle areas which are not Constitutionally defined: Privacy and Personhood. Both Privacy and Personhood need better Constitutional definition, and I personally would support efforts by wise enlightened statesmen to create amendments so doing. However, the right to privacy is only tenuously connected to the abortion issue, and the legal definitions of personhood are both philosophically and legally inconsistent.
What constitutes a person today is a combination of historical ideas. Originally ‘person’ is a variation of persona, meaning the character a person represented on stage. Over the years, that came to represent the superficial, facade, or legal fiction of an entity – individual, corporation, nation, etc. It is this origin which allowed the Supreme Court to declare in Citizen’s United that a corporation has the political rights and privileges of a living human being and citizen. The result of poor definitions of personhood can be seen in our last election where the fiat of monied interests was able to use the fiction of corporate “personhood” to promote the agenda of those cabals of power hiding behind that facade. While that fiction allows corporate entities to sue and be sued, etc. it fails to make a necessary distinction between what is alive and what is not. There is no mechanism to establish the superior political rights of real live persons over those of incorporated powers. So, in other words, we grant to non-living fictitious entities more political recognition and power than we grant to living ones. Therefor it does not surprise me that a human being not yet able to speak for itself should be treated as flotsam rather than as a person.
At the time of the Founding Fathers, privacy was as we mean and use it today was better understood as privity. A person’s ‘privaties’ then are what we now call a person’s “private parts”. Privity also covered concepts like doctor-patient and lawyer-client confidentiality, places where personal knowledge is shared by consent. However, our concept of privacy today is different and at times does not even stop when keeping information secret might harm or even result in the death of another person. For instance, we hold that a woman may keep private knowledge of the true parentage of her child in order to defraud of a portion of income her husband, ex, or other male partner for 18 years or more of financial support. Such fraud is legally reinforced in the courts unless the male can figure out and prove the child is not his before a short period of time, usually the 2 year mark. Worse, if a person needs organ or tissue from a relative in order to save their life, there is a reduced chance of finding a donor simply because there is no obligation to tell the truth when identifying their father on the birth certificate. Under the defense of privacy we legitimize both fraud and what amounts in my mind to negligent homicide. All of this because we declare a woman has the right to keep the familial support of those whom she has betrayed without their forgiveness and consent. We therefor have justified abortion at anytime during the pregnancy, solely at the discretion of the mother, if the physician may be paid enough to claim embarrassment over irresponsible behavior is sufficient emotional distress.
These positions are from the conjunction of two Supreme Court Cases heard at the same time. The defining one wasn’t Roe v. Wade, but Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973) the Supreme Court defined the health of the mother:
“We agree with the District Court, 319 F. Supp. at 1058, that the medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors — physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age — relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health. This allows the attending physician the room he needs to make his best medical judgment. And it is room that operates for the benefit, not the disadvantage, of the pregnant woman.”
In other words, not only did they make abortion legal, but they made abortion legal even when any law defined the fetus as viable if the birth might lead to difficulties at home – such as the child isn’t her husbands. And while it is legitimate to be concerned with violent response of a person who has been cuckolded and may end up being enslaved for 18 years or more through fraud to support a child that is not his, executing a third-party whose only crime is that they were conceived is a rather bestial response. However, it can only be concluded that under Doe v. Bolton a child may be executed in the interests of the “physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age — relevant to the wellbeing of the patient” at any point. There is not even a limit to which side of the birth canal the child is on. This fully demonstrates the slippery slope of the decision in Roe v. Wade which named this case as a mitigating factor for future legal determinations against the murder of children. It is this open-endedness of the Court’s decision which is used by extremists to claim children are born and then left siting on a nearby table to die. They are likely wrong, as only the most sociopathic would be able to do this, but their calculation of what is possible from the implications of the decision is not unreachable.
Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) is the catalytic point which launched today’s debate between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice movements. Further, it is legitimately questionable as a decision simply because it is not Constitutional. The legislation from the Bench is both a violation of the 10th Amendment, and not what the Founding Fathers intended. One cannot argue that the Founding Fathers, under the separation of powers, intended for the courts to legislate. What they intended was for Congress to legislate once issues reached a national level of concern or needed an Amendment to clearly and irrevocably define the national principle. But lacking any other principle, the ideal that happiness cannot be pursued without liberty, and liberty cannot exist without life, clarifies that support of life must be the first principle upon which all our laws are based. Thus the life of one can only be forfeited when its continuation will result in death for another. If for instance the life of the mother is threatened, then there is a justifiable argument based upon the premises of our national philosophy: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. It would be no different from a person coming across another being murdered – they have the support of law to kill the perpetrator in order to prevent the death of the other. Where the question is one life or another, the one which is executed is the one whose actions, deliberately or unintentionally, would cause the death of the other. Though it must be accepted that we hold, customarily, the self-sacrifice of one life for another to be heroic and venerable. Hence, it would be up to the mother if she could die or will die to choose between her life or that of her unborn child.
Roe v. Wade defined some optional limitations on abortion. That is, they set a list of qualifications describing legal positions on biological processes which suggested limits to abortion at will. These decisions, as noted above, were influenced by the scientific study of the gestational process, but failed to deal with the question “when did life begin”. By dismissing the scientific fact that life is transmitted and not created, and by not having the science which proves a person is a human being at the moment of conception, the Supreme Court made its decision from the legal precedents of antiquity. Justice Blackmun wrote: “In short, the unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense.” In other words, we can’t do this because no one has done this. We can’t go to Mars because no one has ever gone to Mars? It is a good thing the Founding Fathers didn’t come to the same conclusion when they designed our Republic. We also did not allow a man to be the legal parent of, or grant inheritance to his genetic descendents, when that individual was conceived after his death – but artificial insemination, a better understanding of life through science, has forced us to re-evaluate that position. So, why is it the Supreme Court falls back on the philosophical beliefs of the Stoics of ancient Greece or the religious beliefs of some that the soul doesn’t enter the body until after birth? Should we legitimize the Flat Earth Society?
Further the Supreme Court concluded:
“This means, on the other hand, that, for the period of pregnancy prior to this “compelling” point, the attending physician, in consultation with his patient, is free to determine, without regulation by the State, that, in his medical judgment, the patient’s pregnancy should be terminated. If that decision is reached, the judgment may be effectuated by an abortion free of interference by the State.”
“With respect to the State’s important and legitimate interest in potential life, the “compelling” point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.”
So again, if a doctor agrees she might be the victim of social disapproval, a child might cost her some money, having the child might result in divorce, etc. then it is ok to kill the child even after the law decided arbitrarily it could start to be a life. And that decision is arbitrary because it is already alive. It is not a chunk of wood or a rock, the child is living and growing. Further the argument that the fetus is a part of the mother’s body is refutable by two scientific facts: 1) The conceived developes its own individual blood type and organ function, and 2) The conceived live independently of the mother’s support for several days before implantation on the uterine wall. In the former case, there is no difference in killing someone because they aren’t independent of parental support in the womb than outside of it. From the moment we are conceived we grow and develop until we are dead. All abortion and miscarriage is the death of a person in their earliest efforts to grow and develop.
Yet it is oddly, number two, the independence of the entity, which is used to justify the murder of the person as not being a person. Abortifacients, drugs used to cause abortion – the day after pill, are argued by massive pharmaceutical companies (interested in making lots of money) as not being abortion because the conceived has not yet begun to be nourished by the uterus. That very period of total independence from the mother is used to prove the lack of personhood and inhumanity of the individual. That is not only to rationalize the sales of abortifacients, but is proof that the fetus is not an extension of the mother’s womb but is an independent entity which is dependent upon the mother for food and shelter – a state that does not change after passing through the magical mystery canal. Further, these companies, interested in profit, describe the abortifacient as a form of contraception. It is not. Contraception by definition is that which prevents conception. What they are attempting to sell as contraception is a drug that murders the conceived person.
The fact is: At the moment of conception an identifiable unique expression of the human genome is alive as a unique individual advancing toward the expression of who and what they are. Yes, this individual is dependent upon adult humans to continue living, but so are the newly born who cannot feed, clothe, shelter, or bathe themselves for some time after passing through the birth canal. (And how exactly do people who reject the transubstantiation of the communion as superstitious claptrap, support the posit that passage through the birth canal magically conveys individual personhood?) The fact is that from the moment of conception aspects of temperament and personality, intellectual talents, physical features, etc. are already pre-set and programmed. If, gender identity begins at the moment of conception, as many argue politically today, how can the existence of the individual that will express that identity not already exist as a human being? In deed, there is no argument for the pre-existing condition of sexuality and its expression that can exist without being evidence that all abortion is the murder of an individual.
Proponents for abortion will often refer to the conceived individual as an organism in order to somehow denigrate (and I use that word advisedly in this case) them as less than human. Any organism is defined as: An individual form of life, such as a bacterium, protist, fungus, plant, or animal, composed of a single cell or a complex of cells in which organelles or organs work together to carry out the various processes of life.* There is no part of this definition in which the newly conceived individual does not qualify as a human organism. Differentiated human cells may develop and effect different functions as a part of the whole, but none of them do so independently from the other organs. It is this complexity whose programming is effected immediately from conception which is quintessentially a human being. So, the conceived though dependent upon the parent for nourishment and protection, is independent as a biological human being.
Proponents for abortion will often state that no one knows when life begins, but that argument has already been refuted. What they really mean is no one knows when the mind begins. However, there is no legal precedent for declaring a human being no longer human simply because they don’t have an observable expression of mind. If one’s rights as a person are dependent upon intellectual expression, what IQ number do we use to determine who we will execute? Further, the expression of intellect does not determine what is a mind since a mind is the summation of experiences utilized by the living being. So, when a person has total amnesia, does that mean they cease to be a human being? Because, that is the question being asked here: Do we deny people human rights because they do not yet have or have currently lost their mind?
There are those who will argue for abortion from general public opinion. I am not making that argument because I do not accept that the will of a mob will always be the just and moral thing to do. For example, it was the will of the mob that slavery be legal, and that did not make it morally justifiable. But if I did, then what we have is a question on whether or not elective abortion should be used as a form of birth control. One survey, at Debate.org showed 91% against. This differs little from a 1990 survey. Looking at the report, by Torres and Forrest, Why Do Women Have Abortions?,** I broke down their results as follows:
Woman is concerned about how having a baby will change her life: 16%
Woman is unready for responsibility: 21%
Woman doesn’t want others to know she has had sex or is pregnant: 1%
Woman has all the children she wanted or has grown children: 8%
Woman can’t afford a baby right now: 21%
Familial or Partner Issues: 13%
Woman has problems with her relationship or wants to avoid single parenthood: 12%
Husband or partner wants woman to have an abortion: 1%
Woman’s parents want her to have an abortion: >0.5%
Child’s Health Issues: 3%
Fetus has possible health problems: 3%
Mother’s Health Issues: 14%
Woman has health problems: 3%
Woman is not mature enough or is too young to have a child: 11%
Woman was victim of incest or rape: 1%
Of those reasons listed, the one’s most pushed by Abortion proponents are health of the mother, incest, and rape. Yet, no matter whose statistics one uses, either the outdated numbers at the CDC or the estimates from various anti-abortion websites, that means over 50,000,000 abortions have been performed for reasons other than the health of the mother, incest, and rape since 1973. That is 1,000 times the number of military personnel lost in Vietnam, over 7,000 times the number lost in Iraq, and more than 14,000 times the number who have died in Afghanistan. I am uncertain why, in the Torres-Forrest study getting an abortion because the mother is too young differs from for health reasons. If this was included, to cover when a couple of 9 year olds figured things out before someone managed to give them adequate instruction, then the total percentage would rise to 15%. That still leaves us with someplace between 45,000,000 and 48,000,000 elective or unnecessary abortions.
Another scare tactic used by the Left is that outlawing abortion will result in rampant back alley abortions. That description has no material scientific support. If it ever happened it was so rare that it never achieved statistical record. What is statistically verifiable is to review the number of cases prosecuted for performing illegal abortions – in which one finds they were performed by licensed medical professionals who had the same surgical and medical training in 1972, before Doe v. Bolton and Roe v. Wade, as they did in 1974 after abortion became legal. The more disgusting historically valid problem was forced sterilization because people were considered by the law to be unworthy of having progeny because of their mental health, incarceration, poverty, or race. Such eugenics programs have been abandoned, but it is not so long ago that a young woman could go in for an appendectomy and get a free hysterectomy without her knowledge or consent. California only recently, 2014, banned sterilization of women in prison without their consent. A GAO Audit in 1976, as reported at The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, found that Native American women were targeted by healthcare professionals for sterilization, especially if they were full-blooded. A lack of ethics in human health and reproduction, especially as influenced by eugenics, has been a major issue. But illegal and unethical as they have been, they were not performed in back alleys – they were performed by trained medical professionals in facilities outfitted to professional standards. Those talking about back alley butchers are in fact lying. If they had scientifically valid numbers and studies to prove their case they would use them.
The other problem with the argument that making abortion illegal will result in illegal abortions is the same argument that outlawing guns will make gun owners outlaws. It is a truism that has nothing to do with the validity of making it legal or illegal. The argument that criminals who commit criminal acts will not consider the public good while committing their crime is a sufficient reason to legalize that crime is ludicrous. Should we legalize bank robbery because someone might be hurt if people are robbing banks while it is against the law? Should we legalize rape because a serial rapist has less incentive to kill his victim if he doesn’t have to worry about being caught? The criminality of an action is about whether or not the action itself is a violation of legal principles. The question is: Does abortion violate a human being’s, a person’s, unalienable right to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness? Accepting current science, it does.
However, the most insane argument is that outlawing abortions, or elective abortions, is a violation of a woman’s right to reproduce. Abortion is by its nature the destruction of a reproductive action. Prior to the Civil Rights era women were required to sign employment contracts that required they not get pregnant or lose their job. Reproductive Rights are not threatened by anti-abortion legislation. Outlawing elective abortions has nothing to do with protecting an adult’s right to have children and keep their job. In fact, it protects a woman’s right to reproduce by making it illegal to pressure, coerce, or force a woman to have an abortion. If you want to review how women feel about losing their right to reproduction, and a host of other social problems, then go to After Abortion. The problem isn’t that abortion needs to exist in order for women who are reproductive to participate in society. What kind of person tells an adult they can only be free to participate in society if they kill their children? The problem is that society needs to be more inclusive of children and the parents who have them.
There is now an awakening which is the natural evolution of our polity and definitions of their world. Denying the humanity of millions in order to murder them for being inconvenient is not a position to which anyone in a modern and progressive orientation can legitimately hold. A human being, their nature, temperament, and predispositions exists from the moment of conception until they die.
Thank you for your time,
P.S. I would also recommend for those interested in the topic a review of Abortion Facts.
* organism. (n.d.) American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Retrieved April 24 2017 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/organism
** Taken from Why Do Women Have Abortions? Aida Torres; Jacqueline Darroch Forrest Family Planning Perspectives, Vol. 20, No. 4. (Jul. – Aug., 1988), pp. 169-176 at http://www.chapter14.net/misc/Why%20Do%20Women%20Have%20Abortions%20-%20Family%20Planning%20%20Perspectives.%20July-August%201988.pdf
There is today, and has been since Marbury v. Madison, a Constitutional Crisis concerning the power of the Supreme Court. That crisis arises from the legitimate use of judicial review in comparison to the irrational use of judicial review. The origination of the error comes from Chief Justice John Marshal’s opinion in Marbury v. Madison 5 U.S. 137 (1803) and can be found at the bottom of Page 5 U. S. 177.
Chief Justice John Marshall: “It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is.”
Throughout the opinion Chief Justice John Marshall correctly argues for the superiority of the Constitution over regular acts of legislation. This is consistent with the second paragraph of Article VI. He then supports that when a regular act of Congress is inconsistent with the Constitution as the supreme law that the Constitution takes precedence and the application of the regular act of Congress is void. But he fails to identify with emphasis that it is the application of the regular act which is void. Instead, he arrogates to the power of the court the authority to declare the law void as the contrapositive of arrogating to the court the authority to declare “what the law is”. In seizing the power to say “what the law is” Chief Justice Marshall set the stage for that Judicial Activism which legislates from the Bench rather than practicing Judicial Restraint.
The idea of Judicial Activism did not have a specific name until it was coined by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. in an article in Fortune magazine entitled “The Supreme Court: 1947”; this published January, 1947. In it he assessed the behavior of the justices on the Supreme Court by whether or not they were in favor of Judicial Activism, Judicial Restraint, or somewhere in the middle. He did not however define his terms, nor assess any quality of good or bad to those terms. He left such determinations to the readers in journalistic fashion, though he was not a journalist.
Progressive ideology interprets Judicial Activism as the obligation of the Judge to interpret or reinterpret the Constitution and laws subordinate to it according to their personal opinion and personal political vision for the welfare of a just society. The Progressive opposes Judicial Restraint on two points: 1) the Constitution is meant to be a dynamic document to be adapted to modern circumstances, conditions, advances, and social changes, and 2) that the Courts have an obligation to ensure “Justice” by setting precedent through judicial review. Conservative ideology interprets Judicial Activism as a violation of the principle of the separation of powers inherent in the framing of the Constitution. Conservatives support Judicial Restraint as a means to: 1) prevent legislation from the Bench which imposes values without popular mandate or referendum, and 2) ensure the courts are professionally impartial when adjudicating decisions. This latter position is to prevent the courts from becoming a battle ground for appointing political cronies in an effort by factions to achieve legislation through the courts for which they cannot earn public consensus. All of these points are worth considering in the public debate.
The progressive position that the Courts are meant to determine the direction of the Constitution’s adaptation for and by the current public experience is unjustifiable. The Constitution provides a remedy for redress of issues not covered by the Constitution in Article V which defines the process of Amendment. Had the Founding Fathers intended for the courts to be the process of altering the Constitution or adjudicating extraordinary positions into law then such powers would have been enumerated in the Constitution. This is not to say they did not make errors which deserve redress, as I shall propose below.
Elected representatives owe to the public not merely their representation of the public will, but also the restraints of their conscience whose character the public endorsed by electing them. This is an absolute necessity in times when the specifics and merits of an issue cannot be divulged to public scrutiny for either security reasons, competition for government contracts, etc. Judges, as appointed by these elected representatives, owe a similar discretion for the purposes of performing their job, which is adjudication and not legislation. Further, adjudication can never establish Justice, and courts should never promote themselves as courts of Justice. They are courts of Law. Justice is an ephemeral concept which varies in definition in the cultural, social, political, religious, and psychological perspective of the individual. No court is capable of mediating for so great a diversity of opinion and experience to a just resolution on all issues which shall be presented before it. Courts must be courts of law only due to this inherent limitation of being merely mortal.
Conservatives are correct in observing that Judicial Activism is a violation of the separation of powers. However they fail to recommend any remedy for the courts when legislation failed to properly define the boundaries of the law, to properly cover the issues of the legal topic, or when no law is rationally applicable to the issue before the court. Under such conditions the policy of Judicial Restraint, more of literal interpretation of the texts, becomes ludicrous when considering the obligation of the most fundamental principle of all government to plaintiffs and defendants seeking redress of grievances. But they would be wrong to propose that the judiciary should not have the power to declare a law void when it is inconsistent with the Constitution itself. For example, if an Act of Congress ordered the seizure of private property without just compensation then no conservative could find fault in a judicial review declaring such an act void as a violation of the Fifth Amendment.
What is needed to deal with the battle for control of the heart of the court by our several factions, with vague laws stretched to apply in circumstances never imagined by those who passed them, and laws which are simply so poorly written as to provide no functional guidance to the courts is an amendment to the Constitution granting the courts the power to convene Congress. This power would effect a Call of the House when the court deems the decision to be made is relevant to pressing and extraordinary occasions. For less compelling issues which need resolution the courts ought to be able to require the legislature to place the issue on their agenda and resolve it before their next regular session may end. Under this proposal, the courts could compel Congress into session to deal with matters of life and death, national security, procedural or fiscal emergencies, etc. It would further be able to place upon the agenda of Congress issues of national concern and require Congress to find a resolution acceptable to national consensus. Further, such an Amendment could require the Judiciary justify its positions based on citation of authority, appropriate obiter dicta, or conclusions through deductive reasoning from a given using verifiable formal logic. That no such mechanism exists within the Constitution is an error which such an amendment could correct.
Thank you for your time,
I just wrote the following in response to a survey I received from the ACLU. Having a degree in communications theory, part of my education is in the forming of surveys. I have never been able to reconcile the immorality of making surveys to obtain client desired outcomes with the necessity of being paid for doing so. Such base treachery to my nation and to the truth has always rankled me. Here follows the my response to them:
Dear American Civil Liberties Union,
I am filling out your survey and typing up this response as I go through the questions. Because no definition of Civil Liberties was provided, I looked one up. Here follows the definition by which I evaluated the survey:
Civil Liberties: n. rights or freedoms given to the people by the First Amendment to the Constitution, by common law, or legislation, allowing the individual to be free to speak, think, assemble, organize, worship, or petition without government (or even private) interference or restraints. These liberties are protective in nature, while civil rights form a broader concept and include positive elements such as the right to use facilities, the right to an equal education, or the right to participate in government.
Observing this, my first thought was: The ACLU has done a very poor job of protecting the freedom of worship. Whether accurate or not, my perception is that the ACLU defends one religion – that of Atheism. Rather than protect people’s right to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience the ACLU assists in imposing constraints to ensure that no atheist need ever be in the presence of a theist having said freedom. By reputation you support that armed men, the police, should be used to force people to participate in the religious ceremonies and lives of others – even when anathema to the individual’s beliefs.
You ask if 2017 will be one set backs to Civil Liberties. As the ACLU has seemingly done nothing to protect the Civil Liberties of men – has seemed to back an agenda of racism, sexism, and cultural oppression, I remain very concerned that this will continue under the current administration.
In part 2, your first question nuances a Straw man Argument. You state “thousands of immigrants” instead of “illegal immigrants”. This phrasing is pejorative and displays bias. So does question two discussing the deprivation of “millions of women of essential health care services” as it does not give a damn if men have essential health care services. If Planned Parenthood concerned itself with the health of men other than where it impacts the health of women and other than when it impacts a woman’s interest in exploiting men for gain, then it would be a viable medical service for the citizens. Because it is biased in policy, funding, and under liberal legislation against half of our nations citizens I really could care less if it is obliterated.
Further, while I know they are not the abortion mill which the Republican Buncos paint them in image, they have done a very poor job communicating they only perform necessary abortions to protect the life of the mother, prevent the horrific effects of incest, or deprive a criminal rapist of the benefits of their criminal action. Since these only account for 6% of the total number of abortions, all other abortions are murder. A unique human life begins at conception. This is a scientific fact. At the point of conception there is a unique expression of living DNA usable in the conviction of a unique individual for a death sentence. Logically, the same unique expression of living DNA must define said as a person with human rights, and the rights of the nation or nations from which the parents derive their legal rights.
You indicate possible attempts to “squelch free speech and dissent”. You seek to protect the right of freedom of expression seem not recognize an equal obligation for responsibility in that freedom. While the current President is lousy at speaking articulately in decorum, he is also misrepresented by the media – as is any person whose perspective differs from their agenda, to such an extent that it inhibits accurate political dialogue. Libel and slander, directly or indirectly, should not be a freedom of the press when it comes to our political dialogue. However, the ACLU does not seem to care if our political dialogue is accurate, civil, or promotes the classic liberalism upon which our nation is founded.
Questions four and five of part two are incomplete thoughts. Do you bother to have your surveys edited by someone knowledgeable in the English language before having them printed and mailed?
In question four, you seem to think there is some effort to end the reproductive freedom guaranteed by Civil Rights Acts. Reproductive freedom guarantees women cannot have their reproductive freedom infringed because in the past businesses made them sign contracts where a woman gave up her right to reproduction in return for employment. She could be fired for pregnancy. That freedom is not under fire. What you mischaracterize as reproductive freedom is murder of human beings merely because two people were both irresponsible in their choice of behavior.
Further, you imply persons should have special protected rights based upon their sexual preference, choice of identity, or in some few cases delusion. They should not. First of all, if you are protectors of the First Amendment, you should seek to obliterate the licensing of marriage and end to civil unions. Marital certificates should be issued solely by those religious institutions holding such ceremonies as a tenet of their belief. All legal functions for which marital licensing is used can be effected through other legal records on which a person lists their dependents. All other aspects of a relationship between two individuals should be legally contracted through mediation.
Instead of forcing people to go to the bathroom with others, the LGBTQVOXARD, or whatever alphabet soup mix of the day is in use, community should have sought after individual rights and protections. They should have demanded all bathroom facilities be single occupancy, ADA compliant, and have a changing table. To save some space put sinks on the outside of toilet rooms as the washing hands does not involve the display of genitalia. Instead, it was more important to the LGBT to dominate the lives of those who are uncomfortable in their presence, or who instinctively reject their efforts at such domination. The fact that they did not seek individual facilities, but rather to impose themselves into the lives of those who did not want to interact with them, is proof of intent to dominate those differing in world view from them.
Also while society is sexist, prejudiced, and even supportive of women who commit rape – no where has that prejudice been so clearly inferred in the public debate than the animosity toward males being in the facility designated for women. Because the laws are written such that a male victim of rape, by a female, will be defined as the rapist – in other words a woman can drug and rape a man and she can then make a legal complaint that he raped her, statistics are not legally capable of telling the truth about the rape. There has been no media backlash or exposure over men being uncomfortable with women in their restrooms, yet men are under more legal threat by women in all cases of private encounter. Women may falsely accuse men of any inappropriate conduct without consequence. Women may physically or sexually assault men without consequence until he is hospitalized. Even then, he will most likely be held to blame even if she initiated all aggressive behavior. The ACLU seemingly has done nothing to protect the rights of persons as individuals regardless of sex or of sexual or gender identity through the promotion of facilities that will protect the liberty of the individual to be free from such threats while attempting to urinate and defecate – or at any other time.
In question five, you appear to oppose a religious test on those whose theological obligation is anathema to the existence of secular political government and which is vehemently and violently insurgent with the intent of overthrowing secular democratic governments in favor of theocracy. These people support and religiously believe in the genocide of the Jewish people, support and require the murder of persons who practice polytheism, support and require the relegation of those who are not Muslim to second class citizenship status with attendant punitive taxes, fees, and policies, support and require the murder of persons for being homosexual, support and require kidnapping and murder of those who are not Muslim as a test of faith in Allah-God, support and require the murder of journalists whose reports criticize the warlord who founded their religion, and many other abuses of Civil Liberties and Human Rights. You cannot claim to protect the Civil Liberties of the US Constitution while seeking to protect the vehement violent efforts of an insurgent political ideology of tyrannical theocracy, a theology of revolution, to obliterate every value of that Constitution.
In part three, you bring up the Constitutional rule of law. Yet, by reputation the ACLU is not interested in the rule of law, but promotes legislation from the Bench outside of the enumerated principles of the Constitution. Should ideas which are not enumerated be considered and are their Constitutionally protected liberties which are not or have not yet been enumerated? Yes. But when such questions arise the courts should require, even court order a special session of the legislature, to deliberate and determine policy and law where it does not exist or which is insufficiently clarified for the courts to adequately make a decision. The courts should not be legislating from the Bench. I think it is very important that people become better educated concerning the Constitution. Any coordination the ACLU wishes to make with or support the efforts of The National Constitution Center and The Liberty Fund to that end would be laudable. However, the ACLU appears or seems too infected with a desire to eliminate the principles of the Constitution and support its enemies to be capable of doing this.
There is no threat to a woman’s right to get pregnant. In fact, the law will protect a woman’s right to get pregnant by anyone she chooses. Should she commit fraud against a man, the law will assist her in forcing him to support the raising someone else’s child. The law goes so far in supporting a woman’s right to reproduce that it will not require her to identify the actual biological father, even where lack of such accurate information may result in the death of the child. There is absolutely no threat to a woman’s freedom to reproduce, while there is no protection for a man’s right to progeny at all. He is subject to her every whim.
You act as if cultural and racial profiling should be off the board, while ignoring the fact that some cultural and racial profiles have a factually higher proclivity to commit certain crimes – such as suicide bombing and terrorism. Your position is wrong. If people do not wish to be profiled as a potential terrorist then perhaps they should belong to an ideology which does not promote terrorism. But then those who do not wish to belong to that ideology will be murdered if they attempt to convert to some other political or religious belief. You appear to seek to protect that.
You appear to seek to establish and protect special rights and privileges for those with minority sexual preferences and identities, rather than to protect the rights and privileges of individuals without regard to racial, ethnic, sexual, religious, and political identity. The practice of identity politics, the support of group rights without the merit of the individual being considered to practice those rights – that is the granting of rights without an equal and opposite obligation incumbent upon all individuals equally under the law, makes your organization appear to be prejudiced. The only social justice under the law is the justice which all individuals hold equally without regard for their identity. Justice which is not blind to status can never be just.
Thank you for requesting my position,
Thank you for your time,
There are different levels of racism in the United States. As to how many there are in other places, here in what I am writing now that is not the concern. This discussion in the U.S. usually concerns two general divisions of racism: 1) Personal, and 2) Institutional. However, there is a third category in my opinion, much more insidious, which influences both and I am calling it Expectational Racism. More importantly, academic approaches to racism inform our discussion but are irrelevant to colloquial experience.
The most enlightening article on racism I ever read was in an Ebony Magazine back in the early 1990’s. The article covered a meeting of Black Journalists where they discussed racism in the Black community and the politicization of race. One speaker described the racism she encountered within the Black community because she was half-Black and half-Japanese. Another asked how many people thought they were 100% African, with no other race – specifically no Whites, as ancestors. Very few raised their hands. She then asked how many identified as Black for political purposes. The vast majority raised their hands. She then asked if when she gives her libation offering during Kwanzaa if it is only for her Black ancestors, or is it for all of her ancestors. The point, and one not heard often enough was that there was an attempt to address interracial and intraracial biases, deliberate and habitual, within a minority community. These biases of race are not limited to any one race.
Gloria Yamato identifies 5 different forms of racism in her experience. I categorize these as personal racism. She defines: 1) Aware or Blatant Racism, 2) Aware/Covert Racism, 3) Unaware/Unintentional Racism, 4) Unaware/Self-Righteous Racism, and 5) Internalized Racism. All five of these categories have merit, but none of them have to be defined by any concept of minority or majority. Nor will I go over them in the same order in which she lists them as numbers 1, 2, and 5 are conscious and numbers 3 and 4 may be subconscious. Then there are those things which are conflated with racism but which are not racist.
A false narrative of racism has been created by conflating it with things that have nothing to do with racism. For example, what is called economic racism has nothing to do with race. It is about economics, and conflating the racial issue with the economic issues and prevents time which should be spent dealing with economic issues. Further, whenever a person fails to succeed, they can blame it on the nebulous economic racism rather than dealing with their own failure to succeed, by choice or capacity. All allegations of economic racism which I have observed are accusations of institutional racism, which I will deal with later as barely existing.
Another false narrative of racism is that of cultural racism. A culture is not a race. A culture is a complex collection of ideas and practices which can be held or shared without regard to race. Further, the idea that one culture is better or never better than another is dependent upon the chosen measure for quantifying good, better, and best. If one judges based on what practices are best for ecological conservation one will get a completely different list of 1-10 than if one judges based on academic performance. The fact that different cultures emphasize different practices ensures those cultures can be categorically quantified for certain results, but may not be comparable to others in a different category. Not everyone will enjoy every culture, or even every aspect of the culture they prefer, but they cannot claim prejudice as the obstacle of their success if they choose a practice which does not maximize chances for success, or at least actively minimize chances for failure. Such choices have nothing to do with race.
Subconscious racism, as it is not deliberate or even conscious, can be addressed through education, but education alone is meaningless without practical and willing experience. Still, that negativity which leaps upon every statement, every action, every glance as if it must be racist must be addressed. There can be no unintended racism unless the recipient who takes offense is already biased. It is like a person, who upon hearing a chance remark, thinks those thoughts of innuendo which were never intended. How is it we claim they have their “mind in the gutter” and are responsible for their reaction and interpretation, when we do not do the same thing with the racist who leaps to conclusions over a chance or partially heard remark. This latter is not subconscious, but as I discuss later, is a problem. Further, the fact will remain that those who choose to sit only with those they identify as like themselves in the lunch room will continue the habitual divides, be they race, caste, sex, gender, etc. But to pointedly force individuals to sit with others must always be resented by those to whom liberty of thought and body are expect-able and unalienable rights.
This last is where many members of the Left have become regressive. In their zeal to end forced segregation, they determined to use forced desegregation. They abandoned classical liberalism in order to impart to targets of their choice the opinions and desires which they choose for them to have. One cannot espouse a belief in legal and political liberty while denying the liberty of opinion which is essential to those very freedoms. Only the hypocrite promotes that persons have the right to make decisions about their own body and then denies them the right to make decisions about their own mind.
It is this determination by those Regressive Leftists to decide other people’s minds for them which leads to what Gloria Yamato identified as Self-Righteous Racism. This form is discussed in Brown: The Last Discovery of America as well. The question with which Multiculturalism never seems to wish to deal is: How can one maintain multiple cultures if the cultures we determine to maintain do not exist? Their answer to this dilemma is to ensure these cultures will exist. Then, when members of those cultures do not want to be defined by the supports created to protect and inculcate them with their “culture” the multiculturalist must enslave them with, force them to express, the multiculturalists definition of what they should choose. The Native American who does not dance in colorful feather-decorated stuff just isn’t Indian Enough for the multiculturalist. The Black woman who cannot dance must receive lessons to improve her Blackness in order to satisfy the multiculturalist. And let me clarify, it isn’t that various cultures do not exist – but forcing those cultures upon individuals without allowing them to choose for themselves what ideas and practices they wish to practice as their culture because of the color of their skin or ancestral religion is as racist as those who want them to not exist. Forcing them to keep, portray, and live some static definition written in a record centuries ago is contrary to the very fabric of that liberty which creates the Liberal. And this is not always an intent to be racist, but nevertheless it is based in one individuals determination to define another without consideration of that individual’s right to live according to the dictates of their own conscience.
The Blatant Racism, the open, antipathetical form of racism, is often made to seem simple hate where it cannot be so. Nothing about this kind of vehement response is ever simple. Even when the hate or anger is inherited from a great grandfather or great grandmother whom the “racist” has never met; There is a complexity to how it originated which can never simply be dismissed with the word ‘hater’. It cannot be denied that prejudice and hate can be inculcated by one generation upon another. If that were not the case the racism inherent in both the White and the Black communities against one another, and at times against themselves, would be dramatically lower than it is. This is not only true for Blacks and Whites, but for every racial group both self-identified and as defined by law. However, anyone who thinks all of that hate comes from the published justifications for racism is delusional in my opinion. If there is that much hate and anger, then there is a source for it in someone’s personal experience – some event that sent that person, their parent(s), their mentor, their personal hero down that road. Countering with academic arguments is meaningless. Until the original event, or series of events, is processed by the person to whom it happened to a different conclusion that result will not change. When the hate is inherited, the only way forward is for the person to realize they are only imprisoned by, denied the freedom to live their own life by, clinging to a past which is 1. not changeable, and 2. not theirs personally. Further, when they quit assaulting others for things they have never experienced, they will find making friends and healing the divide comes much faster.
Blatant racism, where it does exist is not institutional but will affect institutions. In as much as such a person has any position, whether at the bottom, middle, or top, within an organization they will color their effect and arena of influence with those expressions they fail to avoid. Given that their racism is blatant, they will fail to avoid such expression regularly. This does not mean the institution itself is racist, only that productivity of such an individual will carry more priority than their failure to be politically correct. If their productivity is low, then they will be terminated immediately under whatever excuse is most convenient to management. The institution is not in these cases racist, merely operating on the bottom line of business ethics.
The more subtle form of racism, which Yamato calls Covert Racism, also is not institutional. This form of racism is more difficult to prove without numerous recorded occurrences of behavior. Such a racist will deny their racism publicly because of the potential backlash of political correctness – and the law. It is also the kind of prejudice which is most likely to effect racist outcomes because it is quiet and stealthy in its expression. Further, this is a very damaging form of racism affecting social issues since it may effect in any single action both the fraud of apparent nicety and the force of preventing equal opportunity for employment, for housing, for purchasing personal goods and services, etc. It is this form of racism, which will never be fully eliminated, that will always force us to maintain laws against prejudicial behavior. I state it will never be fully eliminated because the birth of every child is the invasion of a new barbarian into our civilization, and no matter what instruction they are given they will ultimately make up their own mind based upon their own experiences with those they encounter. The cycle of racism is created by both sides. It can be minimized but its recurrence cannot be prevented.
Internalized Racism takes at least two forms. These forms of racism are not so much racist as they are the vehement expression of cultural self-determination. The choice between individuation as a member of a cultural group and assimilation as a participant in the greater society. Those at the most extreme ends of this debate will identify with role models supporting the position they have chosen. Those same role models will be ridiculed by their opposition as stereotypes. Two often this debate is framed as racist, when it is the exploration of cultural determination by those most active in its debate. Nor is this debate limited to minorities, for the individuals in the majority have every and equal right to determine their own cultural destiny, their own artistic affectations, their own dance in the political and social issues affecting their lives. The negative slurs, the name calling – from either side will distract this debate into a racist diatribe lacking value to either side. Accusations that someone is an ‘Oreo Cookie’, an Uncle Tom, or some version of the ‘N-word’ neither furthers the debate nor frames the civil tolerance which the First Amendment’s protections for the freedom of expression demand as law.
Real Institutional Racism, racism that has been institutionalized into formal policy and law, is illegal and can be destroyed and punished through court. There are no laws that will stand up in any court, there are no policies that will survive any lawsuit, which on the basis of race decide opportunity or assign status. Does this prevent individuals within these institutions from making anti-social mistakes or violating the ethical standards of the nation? No. It does not. However, the action of the individual, as poisonous as it is to both society and the individuals they negatively affect, does not equate to the institutionalization of their racism as the official policy of the institution. Further, it would be nice to say this kind of racism does not exist – however, it does. It exists in two forms, both those who covertly sneak policies in which declare actual racism against members of the majority or various minorities, and in those policies which imply or infer various minorities too incompetent or inferior to be successful without the patronage of government or condescending members of some majority taking pity on them.
However, the most damaging form of racism today is the one no one is talking about. It is what I am calling Expectational Racism. This is when individuals, or groups in the process of group think, are so expecting to be treated with racism that the expectation prejudices and colors their encounters with others. Often this expectation renders their behavior racist against those from whom they expect racist behavior. They awake in the morning expecting to be treated racially because everyone seems to be telling them they are going to be treated on the basis of their race. Or they awake in the morning expecting to be accused of racism on the basis of their race. These expectations result in the preparations of mental defenses, verbal assaults, and verbal evasions for the politically correct field of landmines. This expectation of the racist environment has created a form of prejudice acting as a preemptive strike against prejudices which may not even be present. This is the most destructive perpetuation of the cycles of hate, misunderstanding, and aversion to encounter the different.
It is the aversion to encounter that is the most problematic. A person who wishes to celebrate their heritage is not racist. A person who wishes to extol the virtues of their heritage, ethnicity, culture, etc. are not racist. Those who actively avoid encounters with the different or exploration of their heritage because they are afraid of the negativity they expect from those they might encounter are in fact victims of prejudice – and become biased because of the prejudice with which they have been treated. It cannot be emphasized enough how this Expectational Racism is the dominant and destructive form of racism I observe in the United States today, and the one which because of its nature is the most likely to prevent improvement in race relations. The sad thing is its very existence is proof of the most foolish outcomes which racism has brought to the hallowed halls of our republic.
Thank you for your time,
A few quotes from others to consider with what I have said:
“So, what makes me Brown in America is that complicated moment of 16th century birth long before Nixon, 400 years before Nixon, the meeting of the Indian and the Conquistador. Mexico has chosen to describe the meeting as his violent erotic desire for her, his rape of her. I have always thought the possibility, the possibility was equal – that she wanted him. That she had waited for him. And he, determined to believe that he had discovered the New World, that he was the actor in history – described himself as the actor at that moment. Never suspecting that she wanted him. Let’s leave it at that.
I was born in the 16th century from that violent collision, from that tender embrace of the Indian and the Conquistador. I cannot tell you who is speaking to you now. Whether this is the Indian speaking to you or the Spaniard. I do not know where my grandfather ends and my grandmother begins. I am both. I raped myself.
When you are Brown as I am the notion of seeking from history some remedy, some compensation, is absurdity. I am both villein and victim. I am Brown.”
Excerpt from an Interview of Morgan Freeman by Mike Wallace:
Mike Wallace: Black History Month you find …
Morgan Freeman: Ridiculous.
Mike Wallace: Why?
Morgan Freeman: You’re going to relegate my history to a month?
Mike Wallace: Oh, come on.
Morgan Freeman: What do you do with yours? Which month is White History Month? Come on. Come on. Tell me.
Mike Wallace: Well…, I’m Jewish.
Morgan Freeman: Ok. Which month is Jewish History Month?
Mike Wallace: There isn’t one.
Morgan Freeman: Ooh … oh. Why not? … Do you want one?
Mike Wallace: No, no.
Morgan Freeman: I don’t either. I don’t want a Black History Month. Black History is American history.
Mike Wallace: How are we going to get rid of racism until …?
Morgan Freeman: Stop talking about it! I’m going to stop calling you a White man.
And I am going to ask you to stop calling me a Black man.
In the Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant discussed how critical thinking must rely upon the polarity of a given and its opposite in order to frame the debate. He called these thesis and antithesis. This was expounded upon by Johann Gottlieb Fichte to become what is mistakenly called Hegel’s Dialectic of Thesis -> Antithesis -> Synthesis. The difficulty for society is that Synthesis does not eliminate the Thesis which proposes by its nature the Antithesis.
In the Dialectic Process, a thesis is a proposition or given. The antithesis is a proposition which negates or diametrically opposes the thesis. The debate between these positions is expected to generate a new idea, a conclusion, which synthesizes a working compromise between the two factions. Therefore, if someone states,”A fetus is not human life.” Logic automatically generates the antithesis that “A fetus is human life.” The current proposed synthesis of these, that it is not human life until X number of days, neither quells nor eliminates the thesis or antithesis. This seems straight forward enough but fails to explain the complexity of factions which are coalitions of view points supporting a common idea.
Robert K. Merton explored what is called Merton’s Paradigm of Deviant Behaviour which categorizes people based upon two questions: 1) Does the individual accept the goals approved by society? and 2) Does the individual accept the means approved by society for achieving these goals? Whether a person, or coalition of persons, answers yes or no, to each of these respectfully, places them in a specific category. What this does not consider is the motivation for which the person states one or the other.
If anyone remembers the cult movie classic *The Breakfast Club* these positions are easy to identify: 1) the Conformist is the Jock, 2) the Ritualist is the Princess, 3) the Innovator is the Brain, 4) the Retreatist is the Basketcase, and 5) the Rebel is the Criminal.
However, across time, across generations, these questions are answered again, not in their original experience but in the differing experience of the next generation, ad infinitum. Thus the child of a Retreatist might themselves retreat into conformity. Yet, they are not conforming to the socially approved goals and means for achieving those goals, but in reaction to the Retreated position of their parents or other mentors. It is important to remember the individual who is retreating or rebelling in their relationship to the parent who retreated or rebelled, that they need not reject all of their parents positions. Instead of conforming they might become a ritualist or an innovator, but not in relation to the original questions, but in relation to the Antithesis – accepting the means their parents chose, but not their goals or the reverse.
Thank you for your time,
Religion and politics is a hot button topic for many people. There are those who wish a closer relationship between church and state as well as those who fear any relationship between church and state. There are some who simply don’t care, and others who just don’t mind because it doesn’t affect them. However, there are reasons that the very first right detailed in the very first amendment defines the range of problems understood by the Founding Fathers as the dangers to be avoided in a relationship between Church and State. However, the modern application of their ideal may very well have strayed from their intent. What the Founding Fathers understood as an establishment of religion and what is common usage today has changed. The exact nature of their concerns for limitation of religious interaction with government and freedom for religious exercise would therefor be different than what people think of it today. Further, it could well be argued that the separation which they intended also protects the moral standing of the church.
Here I would refer for consideration the following What Freedom of Religion?, By Bill Fortenberry from which I have taken the following excerpt:
The first three of these six characteristics have to do with the powers wielded by an established church within the state, and the remaining three describe the powers which the state holds over the church thus established. In the first category of powers wielded by an established church, Bishop Warburton placed the ability of that church to be fully funded from the treasury of the state, the right to claim direct representation of the church within the legislature and the power to establish an ecclesiastical court to try citizens of the state for heresies against the church. In the second category of powers wielded by the state over the established church, the Bishop identified the authority of the state to determine who would be eligible to serve in the church, the authority to preside over church councils and the authority to have the final say in all cases of excommunication. These six characteristics, in some form or another, can be identified in every recorded alliance between an established church and the state, and without them there cannot be an establishment of religion.
We may then compare this to the Lemon Test, which is derived from Lemon v Kurtzman (403 US 602). The opinion of the court was delivered by Chief Justice Warren E. Burger and contains the following:
The language of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment is, at best, opaque, particularly when compared with other portions of the Amendment. Its authors did not simply prohibit the establishment of a state church or a state religion, an area history shows they regarded as very important and fraught with great dangers. Instead, they commanded that there should be “no law respecting an establishment of religion.” A law may be one “respecting” the forbidden objective while falling short of its total realization. A law “respecting” the proscribed result, that is, the establishment of religion, is not always easily identifiable as one violating the clause. A given law might not establish a state religion, but nevertheless be one “respecting” that end in the sense of being a step that could lead to such establishment, and hence offend the First Amendment.
In the absence of precisely stated constitutional prohibitions, we must draw lines with reference to the three main evils against which the Establishment Clause was intended to afford protection: “sponsorship, financial support, and active involvement of the sovereign in religious activity.” Walz v. Tax Commission, 397 U.S. 664, 668 (1970).
Every analysis in this area must begin with consideration of the cumulative criteria developed by the Court over many years. Three such tests may be gleaned from our cases. First, the statute must have a secular legislative purpose; second, its principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion, Board of Education v. Allen, 392 U.S. 236, 243 (1968); [p613] finally, the statute must not foster “an excessive government entanglement with religion.” Walz, supra, at 674.*
On the one hand we have the efforts of Bishop Warburton, rejected by the Founding Fathers, to effect an establishment of religion specifically defined as 1) full funding from public revenues, 2) representation within the legislature, 3) ecclesiastical courts having civil and criminal authority to define and punish heresy, 4) state approval or licensing of ministers, 5) state rule over religious governing bodies, and 6) state determination of who can and cannot belong to the religion. On the other we have the ‘opaqueness’ of the First Amendment, defined as unclear in its specifics, from which three questions are derived in order to determine when a law, regulation, policy, or practice is in violation of the religious clauses – the first clause being the establishment clause and the second being the prohibition of free exercise. These questions are: 1) Does the law have a secular purpose?, 2) Does the law advance or inhibit religious practice?, and 3) Does the statute foster “an excessive government entanglement with religion”? All six interests of Bishop Warburton violate the Lemon Test.
But has the Lemon Test been used to violate the 10th Amendment?
The First Amendment specifically prohibits the United States Congress, and no other body, from passing a law concerning the establishment of or prohibiting the free exercise of religion. The power to do so is not prohibited by the Constitution, nor any Amendment, to the States. Certainly, the 14th Amendment can be argued to support the right of individuals to the free exercise of religion, but it cannot be used to subject state legislative bodies in the way it limits Congress. In other words, the states ought to have the right to determine their own relationship to or with any religious body based on the wording of the Amendments.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction there of, are citizens of the United States and of the State where in they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
While the Religious Freedom Reformation Act (RFRA) was struck down at the Federal level in City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507, many states have adopted the language or some version of it exercising their 10th Amendment rights. These Religious Freedom Acts were initiated in response to laws, neutral to religion itself, which were being applied to prohibit individual freedom of religion – such as Native American religious freedom in the case Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Association, 485 U.S. 439 (1988). In this case the Supreme Court determined that protecting an individuals freedom of religious practice didn’t protect against the government bulldozing down one’s church or religious site if there was something the government wanted. RFRA was to prevent that from happening again by requiring a strict scrutiny standard on government laws, policies, and actions to: 1) Show the damage done to someone’s religious practice is justified by a compelling interest, 2) word the law to focus on achieving the stated interest with no funny business or broad sketchy interpretations possible, and 3) do as little harm to the individual’s religious freedom as possible.
In City of Boerne v. Flores, the court threw its nose in the air and declared Congress should mind its own business and the court didn’t want to be told how to protect the rights of individuals. Currently 21 states have RFRA laws or amendments to their state constitutions, and 10 states have court decisions that effect similar results: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. The states of California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming are not listed as having a provision to protect an individual’s right to worship from policies, procedures, or governmental actions which would damage their practice, sacred sites, or religious artifacts. This is why the Standing Rock Sioux have no protection from government plans bulldozing through their buried dead to put in an oil pipeline.
The Lemon Test is insufficient to the protection of our religious freedoms and apparently without better instruction for the Courts, so also is the Supreme Court. We may need another Amendment to the Constitution to effect better protections for the practice of religious liberty using the strict scrutiny standard set up by RFRA. I suspect it would have to be done through the States, as Congress is prohibited from making a law concerning both the establishment of religion and concerning the freedom to exercise religion.
Further, various states or counties require ministers to be licensed. Whether they do so legally under the 10th Amendment, this is certainly questionable as a very strict violation of the philosophy of the Founding Fathers. These licenses provide, among other things, authority to marry people under state laws. That authority should not exist. The only authorities which issue licenses for the performance of religious ceremonies should be the religion whose ministers will perform the ceremony. The entanglement of government in determining who is and is not married has been in violation of the intentions of the First Amendment from the founding of the nation. That entanglement has cost the tax payers an untold number of dollars dealing with issues such as gay marriage which is none of the public’s business. Issues and rights of inheritance, division of property in domestic partnerships, fiduciary dependency or coverture, etc. all should be based on contractual determinations which never see a court or governmental authority until there is a dispute. This is the responsibility of the individuals involved not the government. The governments involvement in and imposition of itself within this and similar issues has created an entanglement with the public’s religious practices resulting in an animosity toward government from both the Left and the Right. The Left wants the government to force the Right accept and participate in their choices. Meanwhile, the Right wants the government to leave them alone.
If we are to understand that the First Amendment was in part phrased in response to Bishop Warburton’s list of privileges for the church within the state, then we can explore actions which would have been detrimental to both church and state based on his proposals. From the above we have that he wanted the churches to be fully funded from the government treasuries. In providing such funding the government would achieve the power to threaten to cut off revenues if churches did not obey government changes to church doctrine and practices. Where there are current considerations for providing government funding through vouchers to private non-secular, or religious, schools we will see this very problem. Government will then decide, and have the authority to decide, what education the students of those private schools will receive. Thus, if the idea is to reduce the impact of government incompetence on education, the result will be to expand it from the public to the private sector.
Bishop Warburton wanted the church to have legal representatives within the legislature. This would compound political factions with divergent religious segments. A dominating faction would be empowered to change the law, even the Constitution, to oppress or eradicate those differing points of view deemed by the majority to be undesirable. Denominations and sects would constantly struggle with deemphasizing or removing beliefs in order to be more cooperative with aligned factions as they seek to diminish or eliminate a faction with which they are not aligned. The opposite is also true, where they could emphasize or adopt doctrines alien to their religion in order to be congenial – even when contrary to the obvious statements in their scriptures. In other words, this would give us the same problems we see in both historical and current theocracies – which promote unstable political and social conditions resulting in the impoverishment of and strife within their general publics.
The third privilege Warburton wanted was for ecclesiastical courts to try citizens of the state for heresies against the church. Europe had just been wracked by torture pogroms and wars for 3 centuries under such religious leadership and courts. These are the same kinds of courts which classical liberals and Christians criticize and find detestable in the Islamist nations today. Can there be any question as to why the Founding Fathers opposed this and promoted a secular democracy neutral in the market of religious ideas?
He also wanted the state to determine who could, and therefor could not, serve within the church. This is another form of censorship. The government would gain directive control of what is and is not taught as doctrine, moral value, ethical standard, and add to or remove scripture as they saw fit with the power to appoint and remove people from ministerial office. Fail to abide by this and the state controlled ecclesiastical court would condemn one, even imprison or execute someone, for heresy. In line with this is Warburton’s recommended power of the state to have the final say in excommunication. Here excommunication as a form of punishment would prohibit all members of the the nation from being able to interact with the individual, serve them food, sell them goods, or provide them services. This power to determine who is and is not acceptable is why states and counties issuing or requiring registration of ministerial licenses for legal purposes is a dangerous precedent. The same concerns with the state determining who is and is not a minister apply to the state presiding over church councils or boards of directors. The chair, through skillful maneuvering within parliamentary procedure, may focus upon or deny attention to issues, determinations, the flow of a discussion, etc. In this way censorship of the churches doctrine, or even alterations to practices taking them outside of established canon can be fostered by government agents.
There are however dangers to the church which are not addressed above.
I have heard many say that it is the responsibility of churches, and not the government to be charitable to the poor, the disabled, the sick and infirm. Some who are not believers do this because they think to lower their tax burden. Some because they sincerely want to see their charitable organizations be able to do more. Some oppose welfare because they feel the government prevents their ability to use charity to obtain converts to their religion. This latter group is exactly why the government is the best defender of true religion by taking care of the less fortunate. While it is the mission of many religions to be concerned for and take care of those in need, it is also a temptation for those religions to call those who feign belief for food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, etc. to become members testifying a belief without the spirit of truth in their profession. There can be few dangers greater to the organizational faith than to fall victim to the hubris built through the flattery of sycophantic believers.
Among such great dangers to the faith is political prominence and power. Where the faith, the religious body, leads in the establishment of laws and determiner of who will hold political office then it will attract those hungry for power and corrupting to the faith. Where those of religious affiliation declare that they will not vote for persons who do not believe as they believe they make it necessary for persons seeking political office to lie and profess a belief they do not hold. Then when they find their politicians to be liars they take no responsibility for pressuring them to lie and claim a faith they did not possess. If they instead voted for the honest man with whom they did not on all things agree, whether he differed in faith or not, but who was ethical according to the law then they would have a better caliber of representative.
It is the imperative that we separate ethical standards, which are common to all, from moral standards, which are the personal choices of denomination, sect, and individual expression; This is least tolerable to the zealous while most necessary for what they wish to achieve. Those who seek to persuade others to their moral standards, the niceties of doctrine in their specific religion, must persuade by real conversion those who would adopt and profess their belief. Where governments impose religious law, where governments punish for blasphemy, people will in fear of the pain and death inflicted by men, not of G-d, make pretense to belief. And the more heinous and vile the punishments which men might visit upon them, the greater their profession of faith is a lie, and the more effort they will take to make that lie seem genuine. This is the great failure of Islam, they mistake for faith and fear of G-d what is in fact fear of men. I personally am happy that people feel free in secular societies to be atheists, agnostics, and to explore this or that religion. For in these circumstances those who remain members of a faith do so out of a sincere choice to embrace that faith, not out of fear of legal authority; this latter is a false faith.
To protect their religions, it is incumbent upon the religious to know the secular. Once in grade school, I and another boy – a Jewish boy, were sitting on a retaining wall during recess. Many other children came up and began spouting scripture at us to show us we needed to convert to their religion. However, they were not very adept at their use of scripture. The Jewish boy with whom I was sitting kept reciting New Testament verse after verse to show their arguments were incomplete or in some cases just wrong. Out of exasperation he finally stated,”Would you please study and learn your own scriptures so I don’t have to!” Not only is it incumbent upon those who would profess a faith to know that faith which they would profess, but it is also important that they be competent in the evidences which those who do not hold to their faith will accept and understand. This has been the great failure of the religious when acting in the secular arena. The scripture of a religion is never going to be evidence for a secular law or regulation. That a number of people believe in a scripture is evidence of the popularity of a position when one is crafting secular legislation to be acceptable to a majority. But if those who oppose abortion, lewd public behavior, etc. wish secular laws of a certain standard, then they must be able to back up the need for those laws with valid, accurate, authentic, not faked, secular arguments from evidence – and mainstream scientific evidence wherever possible.
I reiterate what I have already stated elsewhere:
Our ethical principles, which will always be informed by the moral, are the minimum standards which our society can abide by in consensus, but our moral principles are the maximum standard to which we as individuals hold ourselves accountable. As an example, the right to freedom of expression, of speech, is an ethical standard. The choice of style and decorum in the speech we are free to express is a moral determination, not an ethical one. This is why our morals inform our ethics but our ethics do not inform our morals. Without this distinction the First Amendment becomes meaningless as the free agency necessary for legitimate freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly become subject to the limits of one faction’s or one person’s tyranny.
And one final consideration for those of Judeo-Christian or Islamic tradition. The judges and prophets of Israel never of themselves sought to influence the government of Israel. None of them claimed authority from G-d while professing their own opinion or supporting their own interest without suffering consequences for so doing. Instead they delivered the will of G-d with the express direction and command of G-d on a case by case basis. No matter what corruption the rulers of the government were involved in or perpetrating, the prophets of Israel never based upon scripture, their own personal interest, their personal opinions, nor their belief interfered in the government without personal direct instruction so to do from G-d each and every time they acted. When they did act it was to declare what G-d would, and ultimately did Himself, do or have done. When ministers, of whatever religion, denomination, or sect instruct their followers to vote a certain way, to commit a certain political action, or participate in a political action they violate that very principle which is that G-d does not need men to do His work for Him. They may participate with Him, but they may not lead the charge. Further, Christ Himself stated that His kingdom was not of this world and to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto G-d that which is G-d’s. There can be no better authority for the Christian Right to embrace separation of Church and State than this. Any religion which recognizes Christ can only observe this separation between Church and State. And no religion which recognizes Christ, as G-d or prophet, can tolerate theocracies but must demand this separation of church and state.
Thank you for your time,
The wonder of the US Constitution in attempting to balance the various forces involved is, in my not always humble opinion, no place better prepared than in the Federalist Papers. Among those, I have often held a special reverence for the Tenth Federalist Paper, by Madison, which deals specifically with the problems of faction in representative government. Many of those problems are recognized as arising from economic differences, thus it takes only little effort to reinterpret the functions of the republicanism described in economic terms. Taking Federalist Paper No. 9 by Hamilton, of which 10 is the continuation, and replacing governmental terms with economic ones, I have interpreted the following for consideration using our own native genius.
But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society. Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors, fall under a like discrimination. A landed interest, a manufacturing interest, a mercantile interest, a monied interest, with many lesser interests, grow up of necessity in civilized nations, and divide them into different classes, actuated by different sentiments and views. The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government. ~ Federalist Paper No. 10, Attributed to James Madison as Publius
The stability of the peace is most effected where there is prosperity. Nothing promotes apathy to replace envy more than the conveniences of prosperity. Nothing destroys complacency more efficiently than insecurity, violent social upheaval, and grievances. Nor can grievances presented by one party be reduced by causing those grievances to manifest reflexively upon another. Still more when grievances are dismissed or disregarded as either superfluous or as trivial. And all may fear, with some justification, the insecurity of their fortunes, both individually and socially, when faced with the regulation inspired by the events, real or imagined, of deprivation, confusion, and injury. Yet, without the risks inherent with fear, security ravages our opportunity through excessive regulation while still leaving the inspiration which necessitated some regulation undiminished. Those suffering beyond their confidence in the economic system of exchange either call for punitive redistribution through legislated process or pushed beyond all tolerance manifest bloody constraint.
That confidence which may be lacking arises from different quarters, desires, and needs; and that confidence fails in part through the experience of time. The arrow of our children is launched from the bow of our past experience to hit the target of prosperity rushing through a roiling mist. In our world of specialization, those who are relegated by the natural limitations of their genius, their talent, their location will accept these conditions as fortune avails. But they will not in a society professing to be free ever accept that freedom is valid where popular artificial constraints of regulation and the constraints erected by the powerful, jealous of their position, obfuscate opportunity beyond reckoning. Rationalizing their way to a conclusion on why the target of prosperity is missed will not be rational in this roiling mist. And the strangeness of these positions to one another when forming coalitions will likewise be rationalized, not rational. I summarize with words lifted from Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to William Stephens Smith, 11-13-1787:
The people cannot be all, & always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.
The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon & pacify them.
But what shall be done if those who would administer the remedy are themselves not well informed. They are only themselves participants in the same economy, specialized in their field, and discontented in proportion to the facts they misconceive. Worse the science of economy is itself no older than our nation. And if we have not in every particular achieved the goal of our perfect union, when mankind has studied the ethics of governing for thousands of years, how then shall we fail to have misconceptions in a science, such as economics, which is but two centuries old? We cannot and we do not, however well educated and read even an expert may be, have a perfect knowledge of this crucial science. While we may no longer be writing “omen tablets” to secure profit, the vagaries of economics are so little understood that superstitions concerning the market are taught sincerely in the classroom even though they remain known superstitions and self-fulfilling prophecies. What then is the answer when those lacking confidence must rely upon those who not only are legislating for their personal economy but who gravitate toward theories of economy based upon the promise of said theory to their bottom line.
That there can be concern for the corrupting influence of hedonism calls us to protect the social contract which regulates the diversity of our economic interests to promote peaceful and orderly trade amongst ourselves and globally. The fear that self-determination will be lost under administrative regulation is not without merit, because bureaucratic manuals can never be dynamic enough to account for the breadth of our plurality. However the plethora of ways in which that plurality manifests in occupational specializations, passing into the limits of our conditions and the obstacles of our constraints, hinders self-sufficiency and means there must always be those whose specialization and talents will render them unpreparable through their own capacity for conditions of disability, retirement, and tragedy; this is even worse for those whose talents are incapable of occupational specializations with incredible complexity. It is due to the fear of probable insecurity, both in self-determination and in the face of those things for which we cannot prepare and cannot know, which makes society, economy, and governance to obviate both necessity. This will remain true regardless of the size of the entity, whether it be a person or a faction. Of what value then is our federation of states if our esteem of its several governments lacks confidence in the protections of our opportunities and the reasonableness of regulatory constraints?
The same comfort which bolsters confidence in a centralized authority due to the reliability of everyone in the system of exchange using the same rules, is reversed in the face of individual aspiration uncertain of the adaptation for its needs in the face of those constraints. But our liberty to direct assets as we will in the economy decentralizes that authority to the level of chaos. This chaos provides a false sense of entitlement by those whose specialization and self-discipline in combination is most profitable while they demean all specializations not inherently focused on and, in intimate proximity, rewarded by the minutiae of the market. For these, the ignorance of society with resulting spontaneous decisions affecting economic flow is an important source of both legitimately targeted markets and also dupes for the less scrupulous. Because many hope to take part in these fortunes beyond their genius, their talent, and their access they acquiesce to centralized authorities who remain unconcerned with their interest. Though cynical of their probability, they hope because the possibility seems rational even when it is utterly unlikely.
Everywhere the public welfare is declared unstable by both sides. Those, for whom good decision and effort augmented by the fortunes of opportunity and the active support of those intimate in their lives, justly consider their station merited. It is only to the extent that they themselves made the effort and the good decisions. Those for whom success is wanting due to a deficiency in any of these areas may or may not dwell upon regret, may or may not properly grieve those dreams which suddenly or languidly end. Haunted by their dreams and in the angst of their uncertainty they are sensitive to the condescension, real or unintended, by those who have known success while having no empathy for the obstacles and desolation of their lives. Resulting emotion can only fuel responsiveness by those who have the least to lose from egregious action. Equally, those whose fortunes are justly merited see no benefit in the purchase of social supports which introduce new opportunities without spawning that indebtedness which fosters resentment where the form of government fosters expectation citizens are equal under the law. For the successful, they fear the reduction of their excesses both through natural economic regulation and resulting from any governmental action. Those who fear not only the lack of success but of survival justifiably seek respite and to regroup both through natural economic regulation and imposed governmental action.
Political representatives are frequently accused of class warfare where they represent the interests of these separate factions as if these interests cannot justifiably deserve representation, dialog, and purpose in national political and social policies. Such accusations are by intent propaganda intended to rend from the public their intelligence, distract them from the issues, and promote alternative agendas without debate. As Madison has already indicated, from the beginning these factions were expected and expected to receive Congressional representation which would legislate concerning the issues between them. But they failed to comprehend how fully the power of a few have corrupted not merely the simple interests of politicians invested for themselves, but the very economic structure of the nation and the world. Not only have the sycophants for the fiat of monied interests passed laws to promote the immediate and profitable interests of themselves, but they have created restraints which destroy the opportunity of the majority and then blamed them for failing to have those opportunities. This is not merely some vague description of blaming the other for some individual failing to succeed, it is real.
The very institutions which have become not just a successful business but mega-corporations in a global economy, through political pressures of their lobbying interests, review and have adjusted regulatory measures which they find reasonable and adequate to meet on a budget which can be measured in percentage points of the global exchange of assets. While securing their position against competition which would arise from a garage or kitchen start-up. The private paid less than $80.00 a month, who having fought for his life, returned from Korea to use the meager savings of $300.00 to fully build and stock a start-up gas station could not even begin to dent the cost of regulatory licensing, bonds, and other paperwork to do so today. The impoverished person who holds that new special flavor of barbecue sauce or even wishes to sell produce canned from their garden or eggs to a neighbor so they can survive must have their home invaded and inspected to those same standards a corporation bringing in millions or even billions of dollars a year. So while the regulation which protects the public health and welfare is vitally important, it has become a shield to prevent those entrepreneurial efforts upon which all great industries have been built. Those industries, with their lobbies and their fortunes, purchase the limitations of regulation which they can meet while using those same limitations to prohibit access of opportunity – not based upon race, or gender, or sex, or nationality, or whatever myth of prejudice the victims of their action rationalizes as their obstacle, but based merely on their having gotten out of the starting gate in previous years or even centuries. Having garnered the mass power of the bulk ownership of capital and of land, they truncate opportunity and even the flow of economy to the level of inhibiting the existence of labor and entrepreneurial ability among those with competing talents and genius. Those whose dreams are thereby dashed or whose talents and genius are not best fitted to this competition find meager options of employment. They are enslaved against their natural ambitions and through their employment for the scraps left by multibillionaires must sell themselves into poverty or if they have genius subordinate it for minimal return as intrapreurial ability.
The forces of the market may be active or lie dormant, meaning they are either dynamic or kinetic. Monies, set aside in savings or reserve for whatever reason, are limitedly tapped through the loan of it by the banks holding it for others. This truncates the flow of money in the economy, by rendering said monies kinetic, except when loaned out, and lessening the net of those to whom it is loaned in the justifiable fees paid to the bank for services rendered. And while those fees are absolutely justified, they nevertheless still combine with obstacles to obtaining loans, regulations like those described above, and the legitimate ownership of capital and land, to add to the truncation of opportunity for the majority. Add the loopholes of taxation by reason of which the wealthy hide their assets in offshore accounts and nebulous accounting fictions, and even more of the economic potential is rendered inert against the interests of a thriving economy. And while tax havens deny federal and state governments hundreds of billions per year in revenue, they also set aside assets which neither flow into the national economy through government programs nor through local development and employment which would then be traceable and taxable in whatever nation it was used.
This does not even account for the numerous shortcuts that do not need “offshore” status. A corporation with products of sufficient mobility and value may ship such as cargo to themselves, filling thousands of trailers and containers, across the dates their warehouses would be taxed at special rates whereby they pay less in shipping costs than they would in the taxes upon the products should they be accounted for in a warehouse on that date. If the rumors are true that the world’s leading retail outlet arranges to stock on shelves the products of corporations while by agreement not taking legal possession of those products sold until the moment they are registered as sold, then the corporations at both ends may detail the item as in transit – rendering it a non-taxable asset, reducing government revenues, and by bulk contract rendering smaller retailers unable to compete. Not only this but by paying their employees abysmally, they cause government programs which they undermine by avoiding taxation to scramble to cover the food, housing, and medical needs of those same employees. Meanwhile, they tell the public that it is the fault of government regulation that caused the pond of economy, from which they have siphoned off assets, to become dry.
So were we warned:
No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity. With equal, nay with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and parties at the same time; yet what are many of the most important acts of legislation, but so many judicial determinations, not indeed concerning the rights of single persons, but concerning the rights of large bodies of citizens? And what are the different classes of legislators but advocates and parties to the causes which they determine? Is a law proposed concerning private debts? It is a question to which the creditors are parties on one side and the debtors on the other. Justice ought to hold the balance between them. Yet the parties are, and must be, themselves the judges; and the most numerous party, or, in other words, the most powerful faction must be expected to prevail. Shall domestic manufactures be encouraged, and in what degree, by restrictions on foreign manufactures? are questions which would be differently decided by the landed and the manufacturing classes, and probably by neither with a sole regard to justice and the public good. ~ Federalist Paper No. 10, Attributed to James Madison as Publius
The above was stated a mere decade after Adam Smith, the founding philosopher of the principles of modern economics had first published his book An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. And if our Founding Fathers failed to establish in the Constitution a mechanism of protection against these corporate forces, that they were concerned enough about everything fundamental to their influence upon our national course of action to write about it is testimony of their great intelligence. And we, the children of their revolution, have taken 24 decades of experience to ferret out the potential corruptions and make them customary which they could only surmise as a possibility in the slow and simpler technology and bureaucracy, both corporate and governing, of their day.
Whether, there is a way to separate the corruption out of government by creating a different mechanism for these issues to be addressed at the local level, or within the businesses themselves, is not something I am willing to propose. However, that the current system is not promoting the general welfare in a manner that avoids excessive, I repeat, excessive disparity and vehement, even violent, animosity is an unavoidable observation by those who wish to see the truth. The Fourth Estate, the media, has already failed the public trust. They, as much as Congress and the Oval Office, have been corrupted by the same fiat of monied interests which has betrayed the general welfare for a myopic view of self-interests. Further, the general citizenry is amateur in fulfilling its obligations to participate in and rule its governing body for the good of the national welfare. If some structure built upon the republican principle may solve issues of policy or protocol then we owe it to ourselves to explore methods by which it might be incorporating this consistent philosophy to empower those who are disenfranchised in our nation today.
Thank you for your time,